Why Do You Need Caching Plugin?
WordPress is a well optimized platform for website development and there are ways to further improve its performance. As you add more elements, such as themes, widgets, high-resolution images and others, your website’s loading time will increase affecting user experience. If your website doesn’t show the meaningful and readable content in three seconds, people will start to click the back button on the browser or close the tab.
WordPress is based on PHP scripting, which requires server-side processing. If there are hundreds of people who access your website at once, the performance will suffer. So it is necessary to speedup your WordPress site to retain the users on your site. Caching plugin is a good way to ensure that your website will load faster. After installing caching plugin, it will generate static HTML pages, which will be saved on the server.
Caching plugin renders PHP scripts into much simpler static HTML page that can be transferred to your browser, without any kind of server-side processing. So try out one of the WordPress caching plugin and improve the page loading time of your site.
Top 8 WordPress Caching Plugins
Here are WordPress caching plugins that you may choose:
- WP Fastest Cache
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Rocket
- Comet Cache
- Cache Enabler
- Hyper Cache
- SG Optimizer
1. WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is a free plugin with plenty of features that you can use. The developer claims that WP Fastest Cache is the simplest and fastest among WP Cache plugins. It assures faster browsing experience for the audience. It’s very easy to use and set up. WP Fastest Cache doesn’t provide support for WordPress Multisite. Features of the plugin includes:
- Based on the high performance mod_rewrite technology
- Automatic deletion of cache files when pages are published
- Support for SSL, Cloudflare and other popular CDNs
- Option to enable or disable cache for mobile users
- Cache timeout for particular pages
- Minify HTML, CSS and combine CSS/JS files
2. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a free plugin that helps to improve the overall performance. Based on the number of downloads, W3 Total Cache is the second most popular caching plugin (next to WP Super Cache) with plenty of great customization options. However, the configuration can be overwhelming for some beginners. It increases loading time with GZIP compression and miniaturization technology. It has comprehensive settings with 16 pages, as well as support for CDN and Cloudflare. The premium version is available for $99 per year.
- Comprehensive customization options for advanced users
- Allows multi-level of caching with pages, database and object caching
- Exclude page, directories, user agent and referrer groups from serving cached pages
- Yoast SEO, Cloudflare, AMP and SSL support
- Multiple security features
W3 Total Cache is one of the caching plugins that offer complete minification of JS and CSS files for free. With most other plugins, you need separate minification plugins like Autoptomize or Fast Velocity Minify. You can combine files and defer JS to get rid of render blocking issues to get high speed score on Google PageSpeed Insights.
3. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a free plugin that’s easy to configure for beginners. It’s an efficient plugin that serves visitors with static HTML up to 99 percent of the time. WP Super Cache uses three ways to speed up access – legacy caching, mod_rewrite and PHP-based severe static pages.
WP Super Cache support the following features:
- Support for CDN
- Easy installation and setup
- Scheduler to delete cached pages regularly
- Dynamic caching and page compression
- Settings access with REST API endpoints
- Garbage collection options
4. WP Rocket
- High performance capability with GZIP compression, page caching, static file compression, cache preloading and lazy image loading
- Immediate activation of page caching
- User friendly and simple interface
- Quick tech support and Cloudflare integration
5. Comet Cache
Comet Cache is an ideal caching plugin if you are running an e-commerce or membership-based website. It provides caching for each logged user. It implements browser caching using Apache server to increase the page loading speed and avoid multiple data round trips between browser and server. Comet Cache is free, but can be purchased with one-time fee for $39.
- Server load monitoring and cache disabling to prevent caching during high load time
- Cache statistics to help monitor the caching performance in a specific period of time
- Supports for MaxCDN, CloudFront and other popular CDN networks
6. Cache Enabler – WordPress Cache
Cache Enabler is a light caching plugin from KeyCDN that requires minimal resources requirement. It creates static HTML website, which serve visitors efficiently. Cache Enabler has minimal configuration settings and includes all the essential features you will ever need. However, Cache Enabler is not ideal for mobile specific theme, because mobile-based layouts can be bypassed.
- Provision to clear cache automatically or manually
- Support multisite environment and custom post types
- Extensive documentation with videos and screenshots
- Free to use
7. Hyper Cache
Hyper Cache is based on PHP scripting and it works well on high-end servers. Users can immediately enable Hyper Cache with default values. It includes a switch option for mobile theme that allows caching for mobile-based layouts.
- Allow compression of even non-cached pages
- You can host cache folder outside main WordPress installation to serve files from cookieless domain
- Good support for responsive themes, including mobile themes
- Support for bbPress and free to use
8. SG Optimizer
SG Optimizer is a special plugin only for those having accounts with SiteGround. This offers multiple functionalities like updating PHP version, enable HTTPS and caching of pages. There are three levels of caching – static, dynamic and memcached to optimize the speed of your WordPress site. You have also an option to exclude dynamic pages from caching.
High website performance is also an essential factor to increase your website’s ranking in search engine results. Caching plugin is essential if you want to have a faster website. You can install similar to any other plugins and immediately get real benefits from them. Remember your hosting company may not support all caching plugins, especially ones like W3 Total Cache, due to large number of directories created. Also some hosting companies offer their own caching solution like SiteGround. So, it’s a good idea to confirm with your hosting company before you try out something on your shared hosting server.